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Squats - What Does It Do?
Are you looking for an effective exercise to strengthen the thighs and the glutes, which is where fat is most likely to accumulate? Look no further! Here is something that can help you sculpt your lower body and prevent accumulation in the area: the squat. Discover the many benefits of this exercise.
Did you know the benefits of doing squats?
To learn all about this basic muscle building movement, read on!
Squats, What is It?
The Squat is a fundamental exercise that has benefits for every sport and is a basic muscle building exercise.
The principle? Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and feet turned outwards, look far ahead. Then bend your legs while pushing the glutes backwards and leaning your back slightly forwards (straight back, shoulders down and heels on the ground).
At that moment, you should feel the muscles of the thighs and glutes warm up. Contract the abs and glutes and push on the legs to return to the starting position.
Tip: the squat movement can be done with a squat wedge under the heels to compensate for the lack of flexibility of the ankles.
2. What are the Benefits of Doing Squats?
Squatting is a formidable weapon for strengthening the lower body! It mainly targets the thighs and glutes (quadriceps, adductors, hamstrings). As the sessions progress, this strengthening of the lower limbs will make the movements more efficient and help to reduce the risk of injuries to the joints. But that's not all: by exercising the stabiliser muscles, the movement makes it possible to work on your balance as well as your mobility. Moreover, as you become familiar with the exercise, you will increase the range of the movement and be able to descend lower and lower.
Squatting exercises are particularly beneficial for sports where explosiveness is important (running, sprinting, tennis, etc.) because it specifically exercises the muscles that support your weight (lower limbs) and make the body move.
Slimming with Squats: True or False?
The 30-Day Squat Challenge has been the focus of a lot of attention and many people would like to know if it is possible to slim with a simple squat exercise. At the risk of disappointing you, the answer is no! The primary role of the squat exercise is not to make you lose weight. It is primarily for strengthening and toning the lower body.
Although there can be no doubt that repeated squat movements will encourage energy expenditure and the toning will prevent fat from being stored in the thighs and buttocks. From this point of view, you can say that squats can trigger localised slimming. But if you want to lose weight, there is no silver bullet: nothing beats muscle building combined with cardiovascular training if you want to slim the figure! This means doing exercises on a treadmill, cross trainer or a fitness step.
On the one hand, muscle building helps to increase the basic metabolic rate, i.e. you will burn more calories at rest and in activity. On the other hand, the cardiovascular training helps in lipolysis, i.e. the "use" of the fat mass as energy. In addition to a healthy and balanced diet, you need to complete one-hour exercise sessions (ideally 3 times per week) with a combination of muscle building (50%) and cardiovascular exercises (50%) for it to work. To improve your muscle tone, always start by performing squats before an endurance session. This speeds up your energy expenditure and therefore burns fat faster.
As you will have realised, the simple squat exercise is not enough to lose weight. However, it is excellent for firming and strengthening the lower body. If your goal is to slim your thighs and glutes, you will need to use the squat in addition to an endurance activity, which will allow you to eliminate the fat mass stored in this targeted area.